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Controversial book to be unveiled in Vancouver

Saturday, September 10, 2004

VANCOUVER, BC - A controversial new book on the life of exiled Filipino revolutionary Jose Maria Sison will make its Vancouver debut on Saturday September 18, 6:30pm at the Russian Hall, 600 Campbell Avenue.

The book will be launched appropriately three years after 9/11 while serious questions have been raised about US President Bush's "War on Terror" in countries like Iraq and the Philippines.

Even before its official September release, Jose Maria Sison: At Home in the World, Portrait of a Revolutionary, Conversations with Ninotchka Rosca, had already created a controversy. The Office of Foreign Assets Control of the US Treasury Department froze Sison's advance royalty from the American publisher, Open Hand Publishing. This is the latest initiative by the US government and the European Union to further freeze Sison's assets.

On August 12, 2003, almost one year after the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers, Sison was arbitrarily added as a "Specially Designated Terrorist" to the US Treasury Department's list along with the Communist Party of the Philippines (of which he is the founding chairman) and the New People's Army. As a result, he lost all housing, health and allowance benefits in the Netherlands where he has been living in exile since 1987.

"At Home in the World could potentially be a challenged book because it raises the issue of the Philippine national liberation movement," stated Erie Maestro of the BC Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (BCCHRP).

"Jose Maria Sison represents the Philippine revolution," said Maestro. "He has devoted his entire life to denouncing US Imperialism and organizing the Filipino people for national liberation. He poses a threat to US Foreign Policy in the Philippines."

In a recent speech delivered at the University of the Philippines, co-author Ninotchka Rosca explained At Home in the World, "is also a re-affirmation of our right a people to judge our history and the people who make our history. No other country...certainly not the US, should dare tell us the essence of organizations and people who engage in the making of Philippine history."

The subject and co-author of the book, Jose Maria Sison is among the 210 most important Marxists since the Communist Manifesto according to the Bibliographical Dictionary of Marxism (London, 1986). He is the Chief Political Consultant for the Peace Negotiating Panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) which is undergoing peace talks with the Philippine government. He has taught English at University of the
Philippines and has written several books including two volumes of poetry.

Co-author Ninotchka Rosca, an internationally-acclaimed journalist and 1993 winner of the American Book Award for her novel Twice Blessed will read excerpts from the book and will be available for book signings and photo opportunities. -30-

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